Category Archives: Bedroom Design
Things We Like: Murphy Beds
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
William Lawrence Murphy is the man credited with the first Murphy bed design. After all, it is called a Murphy bed. As the story goes, he developed the fold away bed as a way to skirt social standards in the early 1900s. Back then, women were forbidden from entering a man’s bedroom. With a Murphy bed, however, the same space that would otherwise be used as a bedroom was easily transformed into something more socially appropriate, like a sitting parlor. The rest is history.
Today, Murphy beds are epitome of multitasking, something valued highly in today’s ever-changing world. Don’t have enough space to dedicate to a bedroom, but often host out of town guests? A Murphy bed is a great way to maintain the functionality of your home office or living space, while giving you the flexibility to comfortably accommodate the occasional sleepover guests. Murphy beds help you make the most out of your living space without sacrificing comfort or style.
I’ve always had a negative feeling associated with Murphy beds, like: “Why can’t you just get a regular bed?” However, Murphy bed design has come a long way, and there is a plethora of options to chose from. Today’s innovative Murphy bed designs are able to accommodate almost any style home décor or floor plan. Did you know they make horizontal Murphy beds? What about Murphy beds for pets? Yes, they make those too.
A lot of neat details I see in some of the higher end looking rooms that feature a Murphy bed is attention to detail as to where everything goes both when the Murphy bed is stowed up, and when it’s folded down. Instead of having to push furniture out of the way when you fold out your Murphy bed, the more cleverly designed living spaces have an almost hidden built in space waiting to accept whatever piece of furniture needs to be moved. Everything has a place.
As always, the best way to see just how cool some of these Murphy bed rooms are you should check out the Murphy Bed gallery on Houzz. Some of them are really quite impressive.
Things We Like: Crown Molding In The Bedroom
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
If your bedroom is in need of a facelift, a little attention to the crown molding can be just what the doctor ordered. Crown molding is an architectural detail that can turn what would otherwise be a visually uninteresting box of a room into something special. Better Homes and Gardens goes so far as to say that “trim and molding are like jewelry for your home: made to give basic walls, ceilings, entryways, and furniture a finishing look.” This Old House equates it to the icing on the cake: “not all cakes need icing, but they’re arguably better with the sweet concoction. The same goes for a room decked in trim.” I completely agree. What do you think?
Crown molding can have a powerful effect on the overall look of your room. It helps smooth the hard angles formed where the walls meet the ceilings, and gives your eye something interesting to look at as it drifts upwards along the walls. Crown molding whispers old world charm and elegance; however, crown molding isn’t limited to any particular style of design. Whether you’re creating a classic, modern, contemporary, or rustic bedroom; a bit of crown molding is sure to look great.
When thinking about crown molding, it’s helpful to get acquainted with the basic styles. While I’ll admit that I do not fully understand the nuances between the various styles of crown molding, I know what I like when I see it. That said, the below list should serve as a good reference point to help you describe what you’re looking for:
- Greek Revival
- Early American
- Colonial Revival
- Traditional Revival and
The style that works best for you really just depends on your personal taste and and budget. You can even mix and match styles to create a truly unique look. And once you’ve selected a style for the trim, i.e., its “bones”, there are even more options to chose from in terms of the finish. If you already have crown molding installed in your room, refinishing it can be a cost-effective way to bring new life to your room. One of my favorite ways to finish crown molding is the understated elegance of aged tobacco.
Since there are so many options to consider when choosing crown molding for your bedroom, or any other room of your home for that matter, the best way to get a sense of what you like is to see what other people have done. The crown molding channel on Houzz is a great place to start.
Things We Like: Chinoiserie Chic Bedroom Design
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
A French term that loosely translates as “Chinese-esque,” chinoiserie (pronounced: shen’wäz-re’) describes a European style of art and design dating back to the seventeenth century when early traders first started brining art, fabrics, and silks back from Asia.
Characterized by its use of fanciful imagery of China, asymmetrical balance, whimsical contrast, Chinese porcelain and lacquer like materials, chinoiserie has long been a popular style of interior design — particularly amongst the Chinese, French, and English aristocracy. Notably, Louis XV of France favored chinoiserie design, and decorated entire rooms at the Château de Chantilly in the chinoiserie style. Other prominent people who have incorporated chinoiserie in their homes include: Tory Burch, Ann Getty, Pauline de Rothschild, and Yves Saint Laurent.
If you want a bedroom that is colorful, vibrant and exotic, chinoiserie may be a style to consider. When done right, it exudes a sense of sophistication, worldliness, and high-class that you simply cannot get from any other style. Chinoiserie design also provides ample opportunity for collectors to incorporate antique and vintage pieces into their décor. While authentic chinoiserie pieces can be quite expensive, reproductions offer the same look at a fraction of the cost.
Some common elements of chinoiserie design include:
- Vibrant silk wall coverings patterned with flowers, birds, bamboo, or butterflies.
- Colorful Chinese statues of exotic animals, pagodas, and historical figures;
- Glossy table lamps, vases, and plates painted with scenes of Chinese life;
- Lacquered furniture with classic chinoiserie curves; and
- Decorative throw pillows.
Many of the elements that make chinoiserie so great for some, also makes it unsuitable for others. It is often said that you either love the style or hate it, but I think there is a middle ground that can be achieved. So, don’t discount chinoiserie entirely if the bold colors and whimsical imagery are too energetic for your bedroom; you can still incorporate elements of chinoiserie design without losing too much of the tranquility you’ve come to expect from a bedroom.
For example, instead of covering your entire room with fanciful wall coverings, you could frame smaller pieces of silk wallpaper and use it as paneling to create an accent wall behind your bed. You can also incorporate a couple carefully selected chinoiserie lamps, ceiling fixtures, and small decorative statues and vases. While the most easily recognizable chinoiserie lacquered furnishings are painted with fanciful scenes, a simple curved black or brown glossy piece can be a more subtle way to make your space a little more chinoiserie. You may also opt for more muted color palette using colors like dark teal, and flat gold, instead of vibrant pink, gold, and silver colors.
If you’d like to learn more about chinoiserie design, be sure to check out the Chinoiserie Chic blog. For more inspiration, Houzz also has a channel with striking examples of how people have created fabulous chinoiserie bedrooms.
Things We Like: Sleeping Porches
A couple weeks ago, I read an article about the most expensive home in America, which is currently listed at $190 million. The Copper Beech Farm is a 15,000 square foot, 12-bedroom estate that was originally built in 1897, and is situated on 50 acres of manicured grounds in Greenwich Connecticut. While the home itself is gorgeous, as can be expected of any property of that value, one of its features stuck out for me: a sleeping porch off the master suite. Intrigued, I did a bit of research on whether a sleeping porch is a real thing.
What is a sleeping porch?
Touted by some as the “ultimate luxury,” sleeping porches first gained popularity at the turn of the 20th century; however, they have been used extensively throughout the world since Roman times. Nothing more than a screened in porch, similar to a modern day sunroom, people used sleeping porches to enjoy the comfort of the cool night air during warm summer months when sleeping inside wasn’t ideal. In addition to being more comfortable than sleeping indoors, people also believed that the fresh air helped with respiratory illnesses and other ailments. This idea was particularly popular as Americans began moving away from industrialized cities to the countryside.
Modern Sleeping Porches
Even though most (but not all) homes today have central air conditioning, and some people harbor a a general distrust towards their neighbors, sleeping porches are making a comeback in recent years. Many people are looking for ways to reconnect with nature, or otherwise find it enjoyable to sleep outdoors in the crisp night air. And even if you have central air, a sleeping porch is an eco-friendly way to escape the summer night heat while keeping your electric bill down. Add a rustic porch bed with metal frame with a mosquito net and quilted bedding an you’ve got a charming bedroom retreat for your and your guests.
If you aren’t keen on the idea of foregoing all the modern modern comforts you’ve grown accustomed to by sleeping outside, a lot of homeowners are converting what was once a sleeping porch into a cozy and functional sunroom. You could even add a day bed, which is perfect for an afternoon siesta.
Things We Like: French Country Bedroom Design
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
French country is an increasingly popular design theme. It is warm, inviting, comfortable and romantic, all of which makes it especially well suited for the bedroom. If you’re looking to recreate the feeling of being somewhere in the south of France, perhaps on a wine tasting tour, keep reading to learn some of the basics for how to make your bedroom feel a little more French country.
The first place to start is with the color palette, and French county is all about the whites (there are a lot to chose from). Your perfect shade of white will serve as the backdrop for the rest of the room, but you should also incorporate some pale pastels for a splash of color. Lavender, gold, terracotta, deep reds, and baby blues all work wonderfully in a French country space.
French country décor is light, open, and airy. After all, you’re imagining looking out over a beautiful rolling landscape, and your windows need to help convey that feeling. To help create the look, hang your window treatments from the ceiling to help draw the eye upwards, make your windows appear longer than there are, and to make your space feel bigger. Don’t be afraid to go with window treatments that are longer than your ceilings are high; letting them pool on the floor can add a romantic vibe to your space.
As far as fabric choices, you can go with anything from sheers or lace curtains, to heavier fabrics like linen to add a more weight to your space.
Nothing says French country like a crystal chandelier. A carefully selected chandelier serves as the focal point of the room, while adding a bit of sophistication to the space. In addition to a chandelier, low wattage wall sconces and table lamps also help add supplemental lighting to your space. For an added bonus, you can put your lights on dimmer switches for more control.
There are a lot of different ways you can go when furnishing a French country bedroom. Eclectic would be one way to describe it. Slip cover sofas, with a cozy throw blanket that matches the color of your window treatments is a great way to tie together a room. For other furnishings, think shabby chic. You can find some great old pieces of solid wood furniture at garage sales and flea markets that you can add a splash of color to.
No French country bedroom would be complete without the bed. Heavy, painted wood bed frames usually work best in French country, though there are a number of styles that are good too. Dress your bed in luxurious sheets, and accessorize it with plush throw pillows to complete the look.
When designing your own French country bedroom, remember that design is more about the overall feeling and effect than the individual aspects. Good design is the sum of the parts.